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Doctors Rounds 07/01/15

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 7/1/2015

Major Incidents – Doors Locked

A&E doors at Royal Stoke University hospital were apparently locked yesterday whilst Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge became yet another hospital in England to declare a major incident as of Tuesday evening.

Earlier this week York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust also recently reached breaking point and declared a major incident at Scarborough Hospital in response to unprecedented demand for its services. Some planned surgery and other procedures have also had to be postponed to allow the Trust to treat and admit those who “need them most” and people have been urged to only use A&E departments for genuine emergencies.

These decisions will not have been taken lightly and are reminders of a creaking NHS, bowing under the surge in numbers of a growing and ageing population. They are not the first hospitals to invoke their major incident plan, and as matters stand, won't be the last, with Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General also having implemented the emergency measure for the second time in three weeks and hospitals in Surrey and Staffordshire also declaring major incidents.

Record High Living With Cancer

There will be a record high 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK in 2015 warns leading cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support. The concern is the huge pressure this increase will put on the NHS, which will have difficulty coping unless urgent action is taken by all political parties.

Still Too Late

Cancer in the UK 2014, a Macmillan Cancer Support report, highlights that tens of thousands of UK cancer patients are diagnosed too late, shown a lack of compassion, or denied a 'good' death. Other existing research carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support Macmillan in 2013 (Throwing light on the consequences of cancer and its treatment) found that around one in four people in the UK already face poor health or disability after treatment for cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support has voiced concerns that together with those newly diagnosed, and those living with cancer, due to improvements in survival and detection, and a growing and ageing population, the surge in numbers is creating a cancer crisis of 'unmanageable proportions' as growing evidence shows that many cancer patients do not return to full health following treatment and many suffer from serious side effects of the disease.

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support is calling for all political parties to prioritise cancer care in their upcoming manifestos.

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